Majority support government in dispute about higher education law
Budapest, April 13 (MTI) – The majority of Hungarians support the recent amendment to the law on higher education and nearly two-thirds see no need for a referendum about it, a survey published by think-tank Századvég Foundation on Thursday shows.
The foundation polled the opinion of Hungarian adults about the government’s contested proposal for amending the higher education law that dominated public discourse in the past week.
The survey showed that 86 percent of the people interviewed were aware of the political disputes and protests generated by the law.
Some 70 percent expressed agreement with the government’s position that all foreign universities issuing degrees in Hungary should observe Hungarian regulations and should have a campus in the country in which they are based. A total of 22 percent of the respondents said they disagreed with the amendment.
The survey also showed that 72 percent of the people do not consider it necessary to hold a referendum about the changes that affect the Central European University (CEU) and other foreign universities operating in Hungary. A total of 24 percent said it would be important to hold a referendum about the issue.
The survey was carried out on a sample of 1,000 randomly selected adults over the phone between last Friday and this Tuesday.
The new law stipulates that foreign universities operating in Hungary must also pursue educational activities in their country of origin and an intergovernmental contract should be signed to regulate their operations. Critics of the law say that its aim was to make the operation of CEU, founded by US financier George Soros, impossible.